Lesson 168 - MARK 16:1-8 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he said unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. In comparing the gospels to determine the timeline of events and appearances, this is what I've found: Jesus died on the cross at 3 PM, probably on Thursday. He was raised from the dead on the third day, which began after a double set of sabbaths, one for the Passover and the other for the regular sabbath, which brings the timeline to Saturday evening 6PM. If this is correct, Jesus could have been resurrected any time between Saturday 6:01 PM and Sunday 6 AM. Obviously, His resurrection didn't have to wait for the stone to be rolled away; it was rolled to allow the women and others to see the tomb was empty. (What Jesus did after His death on the cross and before He came back into His resurrected Body is included in another lesson called "The Coronation Ceremony of Jesus Christ.") Before the women came to the tomb, there was a great earthquake and an angel rolled away the stone from the tomb. (Mt 28:2) The angel sat upon the stone. The temple guards, posted at the tomb to keep any disciples from trying to steal the body of Jesus and claim His resurrection, not only saw the empty tomb (Mt 28:11-13), but also saw the angel who did this feat. This angel was so startling and stunning in appearance and strength, the guards "did shake and became as dead men" for fear of him. (Mt 28:2-4) [This phenomenon is called falling under the power of God, or being slain in the spirit. For other recorded instances of this wonder, read: Gen. 15:12; Dan. 8:18, 10:8-9; John 18:6, 1 Kings 8:11, Rev 1:17.] Next the guards awakened, left the area, and went to the chief priests to tell them about the angel, empty tomb, etc. The chief priests paid them to tell a false account of what had happened. (Mt 28:11-15) Back at the garden tomb, Mary Magdalene and two other women approach. They had seen Joseph and Nicodemus place Jesus' body in the tomb. (Mk 15:40-41,47; Lk 23:55-56, Mk 16:1) They were bringing spices to anoint the body of Jesus. They approach the burial area while it is still dark (John 20:1), concerned with how they were going to access the tomb, since they had seen the great stone placed before it. (Mk 16:3) Mary Magdalene is so startled when she saw the open tomb, she turned and immediately ran to find Simon Peter and John (John 20:1-2). While she was doing that, the other two women, who stayed at the tomb, looked in, saw a young man clothed in a long white garment, and this scared them. The angel said, "Don't be afraid: you seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified: He is risen: He is not here; behold the place where they laid Him. Go, tell His disciples and Peter that He goes before you into Galilee: there shall you see Him, as He said unto you." The 2 women left quickly and fled the area. They were so afraid, they disobeyed and said nothing to anyone about what they'd seen and heard. (Mk 16:5-8) Next, Peter and John came to the tomb with Mary Magdalene to investigate her alarming statement of the tomb being open.(John 20:3) John got to the tomb first, and looked in, but didn't enter until the slower Peter got there. John did, however, notice the linen shroud that had covered the body of Jesus. When Peter approached, he entered into the tomb, and John followed. Both noted the linen wraps in one area, and the face cloth in a place by itself. (Later thoughts about the neatness and deliberation of the clothing led them to understand this was no robbery, for what thieves would take time to fold fabrics in neat stacks.) When John saw no body, he believed what Mary Magdalene had told them: someone had stolen the body of Jesus.(John 20:8) There was no one they could turn to for help, not Pilate, not the chief priests, not the guards who had left, so they went away, not remembering Jesus had prophesied of His resurrection. (John 20:8-10) Peter and John left, and Mary Magdalene stayed at the tomb, weeping over what she thought had happened. (John 20:10-11) She stooped down and looked into the tomb. To her astonishment, she saw two angels in white, sitting at each side of the site where Jesus' body had lain. They asked her reason for her weeping and she explained to them her Lord's body had been taken away and she knew not where. She turned away from the opening and saw another, supposing it was the gardener, not knowing it was the risen Christ. He asked the cause of her weeping and whom she sought. He spoke her name and she recognized Him. He told her not to detain Him, but to go to His brethren and tell them He is risen, which she did, but was not believed. (John 20:11-18) Mary Magdalene was the first person to see Jesus after His resurrection, a reward for her love and devotion. (Mk 16:9-11) While Mary Magdalene is gone, soon after, more women come to the tomb, including Mary, mother of Joses and James the less, who had been one of the two who had seen the first angel in the tomb. (Mk 15:40, 16:1-8) I suppose, after thinking over what she had heard from the angel, she decided to join other women and return to the tomb. (She's still not obedient to the angel's directive yet, but she will be. Lk 24:10) When this group of women came to the tomb and looked in, they saw no body and were much perplexed. Just then, two angels in shining garments appear to them.(Lk 24:1-4) The women were afraid, but not so much that they didn't realize they were in the presence of angels. They bowed before the angels, who questioned them, "Why do you seek the Living among the dead?" The angels continued with information: "He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spoke unto you when He was still in Galilee, saying 'The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again.' " The women then recalled His words and became joyful over the realization of the Truth. One of the angels directed them to go tell the disciples. Running as they left, they met Jesus, a reward for their faith. He told them not to be afraid, but tell His brethren to go to Galilee, and they would see Him there. (Mt 28:8-10) The women, including Mary, mother of Joses and James the less, did go and tell the disciples, but were not believed. (Lk 24:11) However, Peter went to the tomb to check things out again, but saw nothing unusual. (Lk 24:12) Later in the day, Jesus did appear to Peter by himself. (Lk 24:34) In the afternoon of resurrection day, Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-31), which will be discussed in the next lesson. Lesson 169 - MARK 16:9-14 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. In the study of the Gospels' record as to the resurrection of Jesus on that first Sunday after the cross, we find a number and a variety of witnesses: angels, Mary Magdalene, Joanna (Lk 8:3), Mary the mother of James, Salome, some other unnamed women, Roman guards (Matt 27:62-66, 28: 11-15), two disciples on the Emmaus Road (Lk 24:13-35), Peter (1 Cor 15:5, Lk 24:34), 10 apostles (but not Thomas) (John 20:19-25). Even the chief priests and elders of Jerusalem were informed of events concerning the empty tomb and the appearance of a great angel who rolled that huge stone away from the grave by the eyewitness soldiers (Matt 28:1-4). An account recorded by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 states that as many as five hundred at one time saw Jesus after His resurrection, and many of those witnesses were still alive thirty years later at the time Paul wrote that Corinth letter. (1 Cor 15:6) PROOFS OF THE RESURRECTION 1. The witness of the soldiers (Mt 27:63-66) According to research done by Dr. David Jeremiah, a Roman guard unit usually consisted of 16 men, 4 per watch of 3 hours. Four would have been stationed immediately in front of the tomb, while the 12 others slept in a semicircle around the four. At the change of watch, a new group of four were awakened, replacing those who had been on duty. To steal a body, thieves would have to get through the secondary guards and overcome the four guards who were awake and on watch. For the chief priests to conjure up a story that the disciples had rolled away the great stone from the tomb, and had stolen the body of Jesus while the soldiers slept, was more than absurd. (Mt 28:11-15) 2. The seal on the grave stone, broken by an angel, witnessed by the soldiers (Mt 27:66) 3. The stone itself moved by an angel, witnessed by the soldiers (Mk 16:4) 4. The sepulchre, empty when the angel rolled away the stone, witnessed by the soldiers 5. The shroud, witnessed by the women, Peter, and John (Jn 20:3-8) 6 The scars of Jesus (Jn 20:20, Lk 24) 7. The sightings and appearances of Jesus (1Cor 15:3-7) It has been said that if each person who saw the resurrected Jesus were given 6 minutes to testify of it, there would be more than 50 hours of testimony as to the risen Christ (Messiah). 8. The physical aspects of the resurrected Jesus The physical scars of the wounds in His hands, feet, and side; His ability to be touched (Jn 20:27, 1 Jn 1:1-2); His ability to eat (Lk 24:42-43, Jn 21:13-15a); His movement through locked doors (Jn 20:26); His stay with His disciples for 40 days and many other infallible proofs of His being resurrected from the dead after His passion ( death on the cross). (Acts 1:3) 9. The witness of the scripture after the resurrection Acts 1:3 To whom He showed Himself alive, after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom. Acts 1:4-5 Jesus met with the disciples and instructed them not to depart from Jerusalem (they had returned there after their Galilee meetings with Him), until the promise of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled in Jesus' baptism of the disciples. Acts 1:6-9 On the 40th day after His resurrection, Jesus gives them His Commission for their future work in His Name, and then ascends to heaven. Ten days later, He baptizes them with power for ministry, anointing them with the Holy Spirit. (Jn 1:33, Acts 1:8, 2) [They had already received the indwelling Holy Spirit on the day of His resurrection, recorded in John 20:19-22] Acts 2:11,22-32, 36 Luke records Peter's announcement of the resurrection of Jesus to the crowd attending the Pentecost events in Jerusalem 50 days after the resurrection. Acts 3:13-15,26 Another day, Peter and John visit the temple to pray, and Peter gives another testimony concerning the resurrection of Jesus to the people there. Acts 4:1-10 Peter and John, arrested and jailed for their witness about Jesus and the resurrection of the dead (the chief priests and Sadducees didn't believe in the resurrection of the dead), get to give their testimony to the highest officials in Jerusalem. 10. The witness of God Acts 17:30-31 God...now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith 1 Peter 1:18-21 ... you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold,...but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Hebrews 1:3-6 For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? ... But when He again (at Jesus' resurrection) brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him." Rev 1:5 The last book of the Bible refers to Jesus, the Messiah, as the First-born from among the dead, the first to be resurrected. This is not, by any means, a complete list of all the evidences of Jesus' resurrection, but these are certainly enough to prove conclusively the fact of Jesus' being raised from among the dead and being alive in a new form, His resurrection body. As He was resurrected, so shall we be one day. Lesson 170 - MARK 16:17-18 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Acts 4:29-31 The disciples of Christ Jesus prayed for signs and wonders to be done in His Name. Acts 5:12, 14-16, 8:4-7 The answer to their prayer was given again and again. “signs” What is the difference between a sign and a wonder? A sign is a supernatural event that has a message attached to its occurrence. In Isaiah 7:14, it states: The LORD Himself shall give you a sign: behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel. The Messiah would be born of a virgin, and this was fulfilled by Mary of Nazareth (Lk 1:27,31-34) In Luke 2:8-12, shepherds heard an angel announce the birth of the Messiah. The angel gave them a sign so that they could find the right baby in Bethlehem. “You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” They found the only Baby that fulfilled that sign. A wonder is also a supernatural event, but has no message attached to it. God does wonders to draw people to Himself and the Truth (Psalm 77:14 ). The coming Messiah, (Jesus), was called “Wonderful” in a prophetic word sent from God to Isaiah (Isa 9:6-7). The apostles did wonders (Acts 2:22,43, Rom 15:19). Non- apostles, believers could do wonders (Acts 6:8). God did wonders through Moses in the presence of the Pharaoh (Exodus 3:20,4:2-9, 21, Nehemiah 9:11-12,15-17). The parting of the Red Sea and later the Jordan River were wonders (Josh 3:5,13-17). The Bible is filled with the wonders of God, which He uses to bring mankind to the Light. Satan can do some wonders, too, but only with the intent to deceive, lie, and to draw people into darkness and hell (Exodus 7:10-12, Rev 13:13-14), and God‘s power is always much, much greater. “In My Name” His Name, the name of Jesus Christ, is the believers’ authority and part of their credentials to do these signs. It is His power of attorney given to believers so that they may do His will and work on Earth. These signs are part of the plan of God, to help unbelieving people draw near to God and listen to the message He has sent them through His servants. Read Mark 16:19-20. These signs confirm the truth of the Word that is preached (Acts 19:11-12, 20). The beneficent power behind these signs is evident in them. “…shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” A. Cast out demons Jn 14:12 Jesus said, “…He that believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also…” Jesus did His works by the power of the Holy Spirit upon Him (Matt 12:28, 3:16, Lk 4:18, 11:20). Jesus gave His followers power over demons (Lk 10:17-24). Procedure to cast out demons involves asking the Holy Spirit what His will is concerning this person, and then following His direction, remembering only He knows if it is the correct time for this to be done. Remind yourself that the Holy Spirit in you is greater than any demon, and the name of Jesus, (to which every knee must bow), and the power of His blood covers and protects you, as you do His will. (1 John 4:4) It may include binding the demon with ropes of faith (Mt 12:29), commanding them to be silent, and then casting it out by your direction in Jesus‘ name, and telling them not to come back. (Mt 8:16, Mk 1:34, Mk 9:25) B. “Speak with new tongues” I heard a missionary who worked in the South Pacific Islands tell of his young believing daughter who was able to talk fluently with the non-English speaking natives after only two or three days of being on the island. In Germany, a man who knew no foreign languages preached in what later was characterized as high German to a church crowd. In that audience was a man who didn’t speak English, but understood every word of the message, and verified it through an interpreter. “New tongues” includes a person’s prayer language, which is the Holy Spirit praying through the person to God the Father, and the gift of tongues, which is God speaking to people (Acts 2:1-21, 10:1-48, especially 44-47, 19:1-7, 1 Cor 12:10-11, 28, 14:21-22,27-28, 39). Both are to glorify God (Acts 10:46) C. “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them” “Take up” in the Greek means “control, remove, take away.” Under the direction of God, Moses grabbed a deadly serpent by the tail (Exodus 4:1-5), (not the usual way to hold a lethal snake). On the island of Melita, after surviving a harrowing shipwreck, Paul in Acts 28:1-9 was protected from the bite of a deadly viper, which he shook off, and it did him no harm, which thereby opened up a ministry to the people and the ruler of the island. I know of no specific Biblical instance where a deadly substance was drunk, but the implication is God will protect the believer doing His will, when He intends ministry, testimony, or some other work to continue. For example, the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace commanded by King Nebuchadnezzar were protected from the flames (which killed the furnace workers), and they came out of the furnace safe, unharmed, not one hair singed, and not even the smell of smoke on their clothes.(Dan. 3:8-30) This caused the king to change his decree and promote the three men to higher positions in his kingdom. D. “they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” “Laying on hands” James 5:14-15 Notice touch can also be combined with the use of anointing oil. I happen to carry some in my purse and it has been used with the prayer of faith by my Sunday School teacher twice, as the Lord directed her, and both people, anointed and prayed for, reported recovery when we met the next Sunday. Peter, Philip, Stephen, Ananias, Paul, and other believers in the scriptures knew the joy of being the conduit of the Holy Spirit and His power to heal (Acts 5:15, 9:36-, 5:15-16, 3:6-9, 9:17-18, 8:5-8,6:8, 28:7-9, 14:8). “recover” Greek: “to be well” A healing may involve some passage of time, unlike most miracles. A believer prayed for a baby whose doctor had told his parents his skull would never close and the baby would not live long. Fifteen years later the boy, now a teen, introduced himself to the one who had prayed for him. His parents had told him how after the prayer, his skull began to grow and within a month or so, it was healed completely. Healing is given to help the sick; to relieve oppression of the devil (Acts 10:38) ; to confirm the Word preached or given out (Mk 16:20); to show the operation of kingdom power to all the world (Acts 1:8); and to glorify God (Acts 11:18). Obviously much, much more could be written about each and all of these. Along with love and fervent prayer, these, with other things (Ephesians 6:10-20), are the weapons of our warfare and are part of what changes soldiers of the cross to warriors of the Lord. If you desire to learn more, study the scriptures and ask the Lord to direct you to some books, written by believers on these signs, that would increase your understanding of them.

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